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Josef Hoffmann Museum

Brtnice, Czechia
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The permanent exhibition is to open in the Birthplace of Josef Hoffmann. Timeless Design its predecessor in Hoffmann's house in Brtnice is being replaced by Inspirations. The birthplace of Josef Hoffmann is the property of the town of Brtnice, and since January 1st, 2006 it has been under the administration of the Moravian Gallery in Brno. The Josef Hoffmann Museum is a joint branch of the Moravska Galerie in Brno and the MAK, Vienna.

The Hoffmann house, No.263, fronts the eastern side of the Brtnice square. The building was probably created by merging two smaller houses. The foundations of the northern house date back to around 1500, the Late Gothic core being still visible in the massive walls and the barrel vault of the cellar. After a fire of 1760 the exterior of the houses was unified by a Baroque re-building.

The house was owned by several generations of ancestors of the architect Josef Hoffmann (1870-1956). His father, Josef, was one of the most honoured burghers, and presided over Brtnice as mayor for 36 years. The family lived on the floor, the vaulted rooms at the ground level and the passage way served the family's working purposes.

After 1989 the house was transferred into municipal property and discussions concerning the necessity of its reconstruction began soon afterwards. The project design was commissioned to the office of the Brno architects Hrusa & Pelcak. With the drawings completed between 1995-1997 the project was finally realized in 2003. The restoration work was based on surviving period photographs, which Josef Hoffmann had commissioned after he finished his work and which he published in the contemporary press. The architect's study on the ground floor was painstakingly brought to its original state, including the furniture. The ornamental wall-decoration on the first floor was revealed and restored. The reconstruction also involved the barn at the back of the plot, while it is hoped that the summerhouse will be restored in the future.

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ibex73, August 20th, 2016
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